We often speak of standing strong,proud and grounded. It sounds kind of easy, standing up, straight, both feed firmly on the ground, head up, chin straight. But there is standing and standing grounded!
I love it when I stand grounded, not just when practising Yoga but as well in day to day situations. It is a fantastic pose when you feel tense or anxious, it can be a quick-fix to get yourself together and sorted again, it helps to make yourself feel stronger, more powerful.
Standing really grounded will make you feel a shift in your body, in your posture and make you feel really firmly connected to the ground and strong. It is a nice sensation, but how do we achieve this?
For such a simple looking posture – or Mountain Pose in Yoga – it is a lot going there! You engage here, straighten there, press down here, lift and turn there… So let me break it down in some short steps and give some hints.
Step 1 the feet:
- Stand with your feet slightly apart (10-15 cm)
- Place your feet evenly on the ground, imagine your foot is a rectangle shape and you place all four corners down evenly (big and small toe making 2 corners, inner and outer heel the other two) the middle area nice and relaxed
- You may want to wiggle our toes and place them down again for a better alignment
- Spread your weight evenly onto both legs. You may want to shift side to side a bit until you feel even
- Make sure you keep your ankles engaged and lift the inner side gently to avoid collapsing inward.
Step 2 the legs and core area: (the tricky part I find)
- Engage your thigh muscles gently, roll them a little bit inward, this will lift your kneecaps slightly
- Keep your pelvis neutral by anchoring the tailbone down towards the heels and push the top of your buttocks down. This will help to even out the curve in the spine and keep the hips alligned
- At the same time lift the pubic bone towards the navel.
I find this part tricky and overwhelming, there is so much going on. To really feel the sensation of grounding it may help to place a block (narrow side) or a thick book/water bottle between the upper part of your inner thighs. Imagine now that you want to pass the block, book, water bottle to a person behind you. This will enable you to roll your thighs slightly inward. At the same time lengthen the tailbone towards the block and roll outer side of the hips in. Make sure you do not eaten up on step 1!
This step may give you a better idea on how to engage your whole area from the pelvic, to the buttocks, thighs, legs and even ankles and toes. This in between step helped me to really feel the sensation of grounding and to stand strong and tall. I felt my shift here.
Step 3 the upper body and the head:
- Release any tension in your shoulders, lift them slightly up and roll them back and push them down gently. Make sure to release any tension in your neck. You should feel engaged but relaxed!
- Lift your chin parallel to the ground
Lastly imagine a line and a flow of energy from your feet through your legs, core, neck and head all the way through the crown of your head. Release any tension in your face and take some deep relaxed breaths. Feel the breath all the way down into your belly, spreading energy to the top of the head and all the way down to the toes.
Feel the grounded sensation and the strength you get out of this powerful posture!
and have a lovely day,